Volume 3 Chapter 11 Shirogane Aqua, Confronted by a Mysterious Foreigner
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
After the filming for the Monday night drama, the shooting for the tokusatsu drama started. Thanks to the consideration of the production teams, many of the scenes where I appear in both dramas are scheduled from mid-July to mid-August, during the summer break. It’s all thanks to Ako-san’s meticulous arrangements. I can’t help but feel grateful to Ako-san once again.
Lately, Ako-san has been busy, and she couldn’t even come to the previous meeting. There seems to be a lot of things she has to take care of, so Shitori-oneechan, feeling sorry for her, has been helping with Ako-san’s work as a part-time job. I heard this from Mother, so I haven’t actually met Shitori-oneechan at the site or the office yet. According to Mother, not only Shitori-oneechan but Lapis also cleans the office on holidays and goes to buy supplies after school and delivers them. I’m grateful and moved by the support my family provides behind the scenes.
So, because of such things, I need to earn a lot of money soon and save up enough to employ people and make everyone’s lives easier. That’s my renewed determination.
Now, on one such day, as I was walking back after having dinner near the shooting location, I was approached by a foreigner.
I was surrounded by a group of three suspicious foreign women who spoke in an energetic foreign language. They don’t seem like bad people, but what on earth is going on? As I stood frozen, one of them approached me and spoke in broken language.
”You, a model?”
”N-No, I’m an idol.”
Did my foreign words get through? The group of foreign women seemed delighted. Their energy was so high that everyone around us was looking. Some kind-hearted people even offered to call the police, but I assured them that everything was fine since these women didn’t seem to have any harmful intentions.
”Oh, your card, may I have it?”
I hesitated for a moment. Although I received business cards from Ako-san as an idol under the agency, should I give it to someone whose identity I don’t even know? At that moment, one of the women extended her card and pointed to the written part.
At first glance, it looks like a man’s name is written, but it was a group of foreign women who approached me. The mystery deepens.
”We are, searching, model. You, image, perfect. Together, work, interested, contact please.”
One of them took out a pen and wrote down the contact phone number on the back of the business card she handed me. It seems that they are looking for models. So, I assume they wanted me to contact them if I’m interested. I’ll consult Ako-san about this matter later. For now, I informed the women of my name and that I belong to Beryl Entertainment.
And on another day, when I showed the business card to Ako-san, she froze.
”A-A-Aqua-kun, where did you get this person’s business card?”
Ako-san showed clear signs of agitation. I explained to Ako-san the circumstances of being approached by the mysterious group of foreign women.
”I see. Aqua-kun, about this person on the business card…”
To Ako-san’s question, I shook my head from side to side. Ako-san then typed something into the tablet she was holding and swiped the screen before presenting it to me.
”John Slimane is a renowned fashion designer of ‘Corolle’ Stars nation, the global fashion brand.”
The screen on the tablet handed to me by Ako-san displayed images of clothes worth hundreds of thousands and bags worth millions. It was evident that they were luxury brands.
”I believe the Stars fashion show in their home country was at the end of June…”
Ako-san showed a pensive expression before shifting her gaze towards me.
”Aqua-kun, John Slimane is not only famous as a designer for Corolle but also for designing the costumes for Trashpunks.”
I recalled the designs of Trashpunks’ outfits that Ako-san had shown me before. After being introduced by Ako-san, I watched some videos of Trashpunks, and every song was fantastic, captivating me deeply. Their costumes, each of them, had sophisticated designs that perfectly captured the world depicted in their music.
”He has worked with many artists, even designing stage costumes for top performers, but he has never worked on idol costumes. If… if he could design your stage outfits or MV costumes, it would be an extraordinary opportunity.”
The quality of the two completed new songs was excellent. If we could further enhance them visually, we might create even more remarkable works. The thought sent shivers down my spine.
”I don’t know the exact details of the job yet, but if you’re interested, would you like to at least check the job description? If Aqua-kun could create the initial opportunity to meet the designer in person, then leave the rest to me. It’s my job from there.”
I nodded in agreement with Ako-san’s suggestion.
”Yes, I would like to hear about it, even if it’s just a discussion. I won’t spare any effort to make the songs everyone worked on even better. Ako-san, will you help me?”
”Of course, leave it to me! I’ll also confirm with Kobayashi-san.”
”Yes! Thank you so much!”
Moja-san, contacted by Ako-san, immediately gave the green light. It seems Moja-san said that not everyone is given such an opportunity. After Ako-san made a call to the phone number written on the business card, we were asked to gather at the rented studio the next day.
”Thank you for coming today in the midst of your busy schedule.”
”I also want to express my gratitude to you for reaching out to Shirogane Aqua, our agency’s idol.”
The staff on the other side and Ako-san exchanged words fluently in a foreign language. Of course, I wasn’t the one participating in the conversation, but rather Ako-san.
”Now, please come this way.”
As we arrived at the studio, we were invited into a room in the back. There, a slim man with a casual buzz-cut hairstyle was seated in the center of the room. I had checked his face photo in advance from the images I saw on the internet, and he was indeed the designer, John Slimane.
”Nice to meet you.”
As instructed beforehand, I greeted him in his language.
”Thank you for coming today. Sorry, but could you walk a bit for me? Someone, get him the costumes.”
Although the designer, John-san, looked a bit intimidating, he seemed more approachable than I had expected. I couldn’t fully understand his fast-paced speech, but somehow I grasped the gist of what he was saying.
Summoned by one of the staff members, I entered a separate room to change into the provided outfit. I put on a short, slim-fit jacket and a pair of skinny jeans that hugged my skin. The monochrome color scheme emphasized my slender figure, taking my breath away. The clothing, worth hundreds of thousands, had a distinct beauty in the way the lines appeared in the mirror, unlike ordinary clothes. Once I changed into the outfit, I quickly returned to the original room and stood in the designated position.
”When I clap my hands, walk from this spot to the marked area, strike a pose, turn around, and return here. Then turn around and face forward, got it?”
”Thank you, yes, okay!”
With the help of the gestures and movements explained by the person, I managed to understand what to do. I exhaled and relaxed my body.
The sound of a dry clap echoed in the room. I started walking according to the cue and performed the actions as instructed, returning to the original position.
Startled by the negation, I felt a jolt. The person from earlier quickly approached me once again.
”Try imitating my movements, trace, me.”
They walked beside me, demonstrating the walk in the adjacent lane. I closely observed their movements. Although I had tried to replicate it based on the visuals I had seen before coming here, seeing it demonstrated right beside me revealed that my own walking style was completely different.
In sync with the sound of the clap, I showcased the walk once again. I concentrated all my senses from toe to head, focusing on making the clothing look even more beautiful.
Designer John-san watched attentively, placing a hand on his mouth.
Chris is the man who had shown me the demonstration earlier. He stood at the spot where the poses were to be struck and gestured for me to join him. Chris demonstrated various poses and turns while explaining with accompanying gestures. I could understand the simple words, but when complex terms were used, the nuances were beyond my grasp. Ako-san noticed and approached me, interpreting Chris’s words in her own way and providing a translation.
Chris said that and then moved away from the spot once again. I returned to my initial position and awaited the next cue.
As John-san uttered his final words, a tinge of nervousness ran through me. I closed my eyes for a moment and recalled the two walks I had just performed. I thought about the movements in John-san’s eyes, where he was looking and making judgments. I also remembered Chris-san’s explanations and Ako-san’s interpretations of his words, trying to piece everything together like a crossword puzzle to find my own answers.
Simply imitating the movements wouldn’t be enough. Chris-san’s walk had been meticulously crafted to showcase John-san’s designs on himself, taking into account how to present them. Even if I replicated that, Chris-san and I looked completely different in appearance and physique. So, I had to convey the beauty of this clothing, the allure of John-san’s designs, and the world they represented to whoever was watching with my own walking style.
It only lasted a few seconds, I believe. But I paid attention to the swing of the sleeves, the fluttering of the jacket’s hem, and walked, aiming to communicate the splendor of this outfit not just to John-san, who was sitting right in front of me, but to the gaze of everyone in this room, from all 360 degrees. As an idol, I had to return their gaze no matter where it came from. So, I thought that the skills I had developed in that regard could be applied to this walking as well.
When my walk ended and I turned in my original position, John-san stood up from his chair and approached me, extending his hand.
”Aqua Shirogane, I feel honored to be able to work with you. Would you consider wearing the clothes I’ve designed?”
It was an immediate response with a foreign language. I answered without even confirming what the job was, but I found myself wanting to work with him. As we shook hands, Ako-san and the person who had been sitting in the neighboring seat, John-san’s assistant, began discussing. Seeing us, John-san in a good mood, I was led to another room.
There were various costumes there, and John-san asked me to try on different outfits and showcase them with my own interpretation of posing and walking. John-san was delighted by my performance. As we continued to converse, sprinkling our conversation with broken words, we deepened our bond. Eventually, we naturally started calling each other John and Aqua.
”Aqua, I actually came to Japan to do a short show right in the middle of the scramble intersection in S District next week, before the main show in my home country. Would you walk there? I’ve been searching for a model that fits my image for a long time.”
According to John, several brands from Stars nation had been invited to this country before their main show as state guests.
”I want to present my new men’s line there.”
Other brands seemed to be presenting their men’s line as well, but they all intended to bring models from their home countries. However, John deliberately wanted to try using models from this country. However, finding suitable models hadn’t been going well, and in the worst-case scenario, he had considered having Chris-san or himself walk.
”Please, Aqua. You’re the final piece I need to express my artistic vision.”
His passionate plea warmed my heart.
”John, I’d be more than happy to help. I want to collaborate with your art.”
In the end, although we had entered the studio in the late morning, we forgot to eat lunch as we conversed. Although we both spoke broken words, somehow we managed, and with Ako-san’s assistance, not only did I secure the costumes for my debut song, but also arrangements for the live performance, art direction, and even an exclusive contract with Corolle, at least for the time I’m with them. Luckily, John had previously worked with Nobu-san on several occasions, so we obtained permission to proceed with jacket and photo shoots, even though I had an exclusive contract with Nobu-san.
”Thank you, Aqua. I’m grateful to have met you.”
”The feeling is mutual, John. I’m looking forward to next week.”
We hugged each other and parted ways that day. I realized it was already dark outside, but I couldn’t contain my excitement for the upcoming weekend.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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